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Friday, November 07, 2008

Open Letter to the Left in Aotearoa (New Zealand) from Grant Morgan, Residents Action Movement

Vote for who your heart and your mind prefer. That's my message to the Left in Aotearoa today.
The polls and the pundits say that Saturday's election is all over before polling day, with National bound to romp home because people want change.

Yes, people want change. My party RAM, the Residents Action Movement, has fielded two strong messages this year during our popular petition to remove GST from food.
First, people are worried about money. And that's under a Labour-led government supported by the Greens.
Second, people say "the politicians" (meaning both Labour and National) are ignoring them, disrespecting them, only looking after the rich.

I have personally heard these twin messages from literally thousands of people at RAM's GST-off-food petition stalls over the last half-year. And other RAM activists report a similar political tsunami.

That theme of grassroots discontent and longing for change looks likely to translate into a National victory, if we believe the polls and the pundits.

It has also translated into more than 3,000 people joining RAM in recent months as we have gone from being a loose Auckland-only coalition into a nationwide registered political party.
There is a contest going on for the hearts and the minds of the grassroots.

This contest will be lost by the Left if we cling to Labour. Their "soft" market policies have become discredited in the minds of most at the grassroots, who don't want things like a pollution market and GST on food (both supported, sadly, by Green MPs against the wishes of most of their members).

The contest for the hearts and minds of the grassroots can only be won if the Left listens to their own hearts and minds, rather than chaining themselves to the market liberals running Labour in the belief this is the least worse option.

Clark or Key? Market liberals or market fundamentalists? This is not a choice that can start to fire up the change so badly needed by our people and our ecology.

The Left has to move past the eternal yo-yo of the Labour-led bloc versus the National-led bloc which, whatever the election result, always delivers market domination and corporate greed.
The recruitment success of RAM (over 3,000 people joining up in recent months) is a strong sign that the time to start breaking the chains is now!

It's time to build a people's movement based on the values of humanity, ecology, co-operation, equity and democracy.

It's time to give these values the political punch they need with a people's movement that stands in elections while also campaigning full-time for things needed by the grassroots. Things that most people consider to be "common sense".

RAM is going into this election with our Ten Commandments:

Remove GST tax from all our food. $2,000 "baby bonus" to every mum.

Lift minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Offer first-home buyers a 3% interest state loan.

Free lunches in schools serving poor areas.

Free tertiary education plus a student living allowance.

Free & frequent public transport in our main cities.

Offer cheap solar panels to homeowners.

Restore to workers their free right to strike.

Enshrine the Treaty of Waitangi in a new constitution to guarantee the mutual rights of Maori & non-Maori.

Imagine the socially transformative power of these Ten Commandments if RAM gets a good vote on Saturday.

RAM is fielding a party list of 26 candidates.

RAM is also standing electorate candidates in these eleven seats:

Whangarei - Martin Kaipo.

North Shore - Stephen Cooper.

Northcote - Ben Doherty.

Auckland Central - Oliver Woods (candidates co-leader).

Mt Roskill - Daphne Lawless.

Maungakiekie - Elliott Blade.

Epsom - Rafe Copeland.

Mangere - Roger Fowler.

Papakura - Pat O'Dea.

Rotorua - Grant Rogers.

Wellington Central - Grant Brookes (candidates co-leader).

You can bring a humane and ecological society closer in Aotearoa if you:

Tick RAM in the (all important) party vote.

Tick the RAM candidate if one is standing in your electorate.
If the Labour-led bloc is going to lose anyway, why not go with your heart and your mind? Why not cast a vote for the future? For change that we need?
Comrade! Listen to your heart and your mind!

Grant Morgan

Chair of RAM - Residents Action Movement021 2544 515grantmorgan@paradise.net.nzPO Box 13-157 Aucklandhttp://www.ram.org.nz/

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